Inside, Out & About on Spotify

Inside, Out & About is available on Spotify (search Friends of the Chicago River). The podcast and companion nature program on Friends’ website takes people on a journey along the Chicago River system to deepen their connections with nature and increase their awareness of our natural areas.

Starting with an exploration of the Chicago Portage National Historic Site, the program package Friends curated on our website includes the podcast, family activities, photographs, videos, and information on human and natural history in English and Spanish for individuals and families, including a virtual Guided Walk of the historic site which is also available in Spanish. Visitors will learn about nature and engage in fun, indoor and outdoor activities including guided walks, wildlife and habitat facts, scavenger hunts, bird watching, animal track identification and what to expect on a site visit. In-person programming will begin when conditions permit.

Hosted by Friends’ Executive Director Margaret Frisbie, the first podcast episode includes interviews with Friends of the Fox River Executive Director Gary Mechanic, who founded Friends of the Chicago Portage; Ben Goldfarb, award-winning environmental journalist and author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Lives of Beavers and Why They Matter; and Sergio Rodriguez, the mayor of nearby Summit, Ill., who is also a Chicago River Day volunteer site captain.

“Inside, Out & About is designed to promote the use and benefits of our natural areas,” said Frisbie. “By using a multidisciplinary approach, we hope to empower people and encourage them to learn about and enjoy the wide variety of natural areas along the Chicago River system and help them learn about how being outside in nature is good for our physical and emotional health. There’s lots of great information and fun outdoor activities for people of all ages.”

Featured guests in upcoming Inside, Out & About episodes include: Elizabeth Kolbert, acclaimed author of The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History; Arnold Randall, general superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County; and Melodi Serna, interim executive director of the American Indian Center. In an interview this week on NPR’s Fresh Air program, Kolbert discussed a tour she took of the river system with Frisbie and Friends’ Policy and Conservation Manager, John Quail, while researching her new book Under a White Sky.

The next two episodes explore the beautiful Kickapoo Woods along the Little Calumet River in south suburban Riverdale, Ill., and the South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River in Chicago, more familiarly known as Bubbly Creek. Inside, Out & About will explore new sites along the Chicago River system each month throughout the year.

“Friends of the Chicago River has been a great partner for years in our ecological restoration work in the Forest Preserves. We look forward to how Inside, Out & About will tell the stories of the preserves and other natural areas in the region and encourage listeners to get out and enjoy all they have to offer,” said Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.